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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN PORTUGAL

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

 The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries is responsible for agriculture and rural development.

IHERA’s attributions are related to:

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Portugal has forced legislation to reduce the use of productive land for others purposes that are not the agriculture, i.e. urbanization and industry. The use of lands for these purposes requires a specific authorization of the Environment and Land Planning Ministry based on the advice of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries.

There is a specific legislation for the use of existing pesticides, which sets the rules and best procedures for promoting integrated pest management and control in agriculture. Within the application of agro-environmental measures several measures obliged the farmers to use pests adequately and in a limited way, namely the integrated production and the biological agriculture. In the period of 1994-99 around 5.000 farmers applied to them covering approximately an area of 54.000 hectares.

The "Code of Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water" is elaborated, in co-operation with other institutions of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries of Portugal, concerning:

The environmental benefits resulting from the use of renewable energies for electricity production were internalized by the creation of the "tarifa verde" ("green tariff"), recently contained in the enactment of Decree-Law no. 168/99 of 18th May. The item of legislation in question took environmental protection considerations into account in addition to the commitments in respect of the limiting of gaseous emissions, particularly CO2, assumed in the Kyoto Protocol.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The policy concerning the protection of water from pollution of agricultural sources, in which IHERA is involved relates to: Application of the EU Nitrate Directive (91/976/CEE).

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

There is a National and Regional Council for Agriculture in Portugal where all major groups and NGO's are represented. The farmers associations are called to comment the major measures for agriculture policy. These measures require the farmers' sensibilization in order to promote sustainable practices for agriculture that should be environmental friendly (see also under "programmes and Projects").

  Portugal has a National and Regional Council for Agriculture where all major groups and NGOs are represented. The farmers associations are called to comment the major measures for agriculture policy. These measures require the farmers' sensibilization in order to promote sustainable practices for agriculture that should be environmental friendly.

Programmes and Projects 

There are measures to enable the nature conservation and the protection of genetic resources. These agro-environmental measures are grouped into the following main topics:

Portugal aims at preservation of the multifunctional character of agriculture and land use through the EU initiative LEADER. In this scope the rural development is promoted through various activities such as rural tourism, handicraft, the support of small rural industries and the promotion of traditional, regional and local products.

Until the end of 1999 there were several working projects established, namely:

In relation to the drainage projects, 67 902 hectares of drainage works were completed in 1996.. However some works are expected to finish during 1999 and these will benefit 6 200 hectares in the Central region (river "Tagus") and 12 000 hectares in the Northern region (river "Vouga").

Bearing in mind the need to carry out a territorial employment approach, Regional Employment Networks were created to decentralize issues; identify actions as well as projects to be developed as an immediate response to locally identified employment problems. Another purpose is to create dynamic and effective local partnerships and introduce innovative practices for each territory.

Within the scope of the National Programme to Eradicate Poverty approximately 200 pluri-annual local management projects are in progress. The financial endowment of these Programmes was increased by 455 and their operating rules were revised to adjust this instrument to the aims of effective combat against the phenomena of concentration of the risk factors of poverty and social exclusion. The projects in progress, which are also local development processes, are intended to invest in the population and its potential to achieve projects to improve quality of life in urban and rural areas, to perform territorial intervention for a realistic approach to local development and involve various partners in their individual expert specificity (vide also answer to LEADER initiative).

Status 

The Portuguese agriculture is characterized by the preponderance of extensive production systems with a low use of inputs. Most of these systems are sustainable concerning the environment. Nevertheless their economic viability is reduced. The extensive production systems are mainly located in less unprotected regions with adverse climatic conditions, low capacity of land use and disadvantageous topography. The modernization and the viability of these production systems are not easy to implement. This is the reason for a significant abandon of land uses in the inland country. The support to the extensive production systems is previewed on the Community Policy for Agriculture and also in the scope of agro-environmental measures through Compensatory Reimbursements.

 In Portugal food security is guaranteed since the earlier fifties. Nevertheless since 1994, mainly due to the CAP policy, agro-environmental measures have promoted the support of traditional extensive systems and they have positively contributed a reduction of the pollution provoked by land use practices. 

In 1989/90 there were 625.829 hectares of irrigated utilized agricultural land, amongst which 115 003 hectares corresponded to collective irrigation projects, 352 957 hectares corresponded to individual irrigation projects and 157 869 hectares were assorted. After 1995 there were 88 264 hectares of irrigation projects created by public initiative, which corresponds to an increase of 14 621 hectares between 1995 and 1999. In the period 2000-2006 there will be an increase of equipped irrigation area up to 46 299 hectares promoted by the Institute of Hydraulic, Rural Engineering and Environment (IHERA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural development and Fisheries and the Regional Directorates of Agriculture. 26 200 hectares will be promoted by Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infra-estruturas do Alqueva at Alentejo Region (EDIA). IHERA is the institution responsible for putting the "Measure 2 – Reinforcement and optimization of water use in agriculture" forward and/or manage it. It is integrated in the EU Programme "INTERREG IIC – Operational Programme on Land Management and Drought Control in Portugal". 

Additional agriculture area brought under irrigation is as follows:

Area in hectares: 23 115

Percentage of total cultivated land: 0,6%

Rehabilitation of degraded lands (e.g. water-logged and saline areas):

Area in hectares: 86 102

Percentage of total degraded land: not available

The diversification of primary energy sources fundamentally involves an increase in the use of coal and the introduction of natural gas. It is, however, particularly this latter fuel, which has been responsible for a certain degree of reduction of global pollution emission levels. Greater energy efficiency may be achieved through the use of cleaner, more efficient technologies, energy management and minimum cost planning. Traditionally the renewable sources, which have made the greatest contribution to the total consumption of primary energy in Portugal are biomass, particularly forest products and hydropower, although there has been a large increase in the use of solar heating over the last few years. Also in the use of windpower more recently - an increase of 16 GWh to 91 GWh over the four year period between 1995 and 1998. Mature conversion technologies currently exist for all of these resources in the form of reliable equipment, which, in many cases, is commercially competitive with conversion equipment for traditional fuels. According to the most recent statistics, the combustion of biomass adds almost 2 000 ktep per annum to the national energy production statistics, of which most is generated from forest wastes, industrial by-products, waste as well as hydropower with around 1 125 ktep. Whereas geothermal energy (low and high enthalpy) represents around 50 ktep. 1 036 GWh of electricity was produced from biomass in 1997, i.e. around a 3% of the total production of electricity in Portugal, whereas hydropower accounted for 13 175 GWh, around 39% of total electricity production. Geothermal power from the two power stations on the Azorean Island of S. Miguel (Ribeira Grande and Pico Vermelho) already produces 57 GWh (1998 figures). Such a contribution is far from insignificant in light of the scarcity of fossil fuel resources in Portugal.

Challenges

 No information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Professional training actions for farmers, technicians and farmers association was implemented in the scope of the adequate use of land, sustainable agriculture, practices and measures and environmental protection. Also, a Code of Good Practices for the Agriculture was published in order to help the farmers in their practices.

Professional training actions for farmers, technicians and farmers associations was implemented in the scope of the adequate use of land, sustainable agriculture, practices, measures and environmental protection. A Code of Good Practices for the Agriculture was published in order to help the farmers in their practices.

Information 

The national information on sustainable agriculture is available on the site: www.min.aqricultura.pt.

A document was published entitled: "Minimum Preventing Environmental Demands for Land and Water Protection" in cooperation with other institutions of the "Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries of Portugal", concerning:

Research and Technologies 

The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries of Portugal has a public laboratory for advices on plant nutrition. Besides several university centres are doing research in this scope.

Technologies for the conversion of renewable resources into useful energy forms are reasonably well known. The greater or lesser contribution of these technologies to the energy system of the future does not, however, essentially depend upon the possibility of their physical conversion, but rather on a number of factors, which may favor or prejudice their general use. Several of them are referred below:

  1. The temporary irregularity of the materialization of several of the resources (particularly sun and wind), which does not always coincide with energy consumption requirements, requires storage problems to be solved. This will be reflected in the cost of the facilities for conversion into useful energy. In addition the irregular geographical distribution of the resources may limit the zones of possible exploitation, as in the case of geothermal energy, wave or tidal power. Sometimes they are easier to exploit in locations of lesser need, as the use of solar heating which is more available in hot areas.
  2. Portugal has sufficient renewable resources in terms of quantity to justify an endeavor to exploit them with a view to minimize its energy dependence. Owing to the fact that most of these resources are generally dispersed, the use thereof on the production site may help to improve the organization of manufacturing activities with resulting economic and social effects. Reference should be made to the positive effects, which could be obtained regarding the agricultural development and the living standards of the rural population. A careful choice of locations for the siting of specific industries, conditioned by the availability of renewable energy sources could also improve the exploitation of several processing technologies, owing to the reduction of the transport costs of raw materials and fuel.
  3. As far as we know, there is a degree of balance between animal and vegetable life and the environment. For example, the ecological repercussions of the placing of solar panels or wind generators in areas encompassing square kilometers (necessary to enable solar or wind power to make a significant contribution to overall energy consumption) are likely to have a not inconsiderable effect in ecological terms. 
  4. Most forms of renewable energy are clean energies to the extent that, unlike conventional energies, they do not produce any appreciable pollution. The more widespread use of biomass will, in principle, avoid major risks of pollution concentration, which occurs in large coal or fuel oil fired power stations. As regards physical space requirements the most feasible energy form in urban centres is solar power for domestic water heating requirements (or even the pre-heating of industrial water). The fact that this resource is not very concentrated may, however, mean major constraints upon its use.

    There are also difficulties in rural areas. Hydropower, for example, in the form of large hydroelectric projects usually results in the occupation of large flooded areas. Biomass usually creates difficulties due to that it competes with agricultural land. Reference should also be made to the fact that one of the attractions of renewable energies consists of the secondary aspects resulting from their application. These include such items as the reduction of liquid pollution in farming and cattle raising operations (particularly pig breeding activities) when animal waste is used to produce methane and simultaneously reduces the pollution contained in the resulting effluent.

    The use of forest wastes, in forest clearing/cleaning operations can reduce fire risks, and avoid the corresponding damages.

    The careful selection of silvicultural species (with a view to the exploitation of forest products and consequent use of waste) could help to avoid soil erosion and the desertification process, which is currently occurring in Portugal. The production of biogas may also have the effect of improving the level of profitability of farming and cattle raising operations and of making them less dependent. This is also the case in the use of agricultural (bark, etc.) or silvicultural (foliage) wastes or activities downstream from forest exploitation activities (sawmills etc.)

  5. It is usually the case that energy currently being extracted from the conversion of renewable energy resources is more expensive than that obtained from conventional sources. There are exceptions to this general rule, such as the use of solar power for domestic water heating requirements and electricity production (based on solar or wind power for example) in areas isolated from electricity grids in addition to the use of biogas to generate heat and, eventually, electricity. This cost equilibrium tends, however, to be more favorable in respect of most renewable energy projects, not only on account of the development of conversion technologies and the mass production of the respective equipment, but also owing to the foreseeable increase of the cost of traditional fuel. In addition to the actual cost of the energy unit the expansion of installations for the production of renewable energies is also adversely affected by the major capital expenditure required, particularly in the case of individuals or commercial organizations or small scale manufacturers.

  6. A not insignificant part of the high costs of these technologies is a consequence of the need to store the converted energy. If dams or forests constitute good storage media for hydropower and biomass respectively, the same storage systems in the case of electricity produced by solar power are expensive and require a large area. Thermal energy produced by solar power may be stored in a fluid or solid medium (sand, stone, walls, etc) but for sufficiently short periods of time to avoid situations in which the dimension of the storage system does not have the effect of excessively increasing the installation cost.

    Another constraint on the extensive use of these technologies may be the availability of materials, not merely from a quantitative point of view, but also owing to their distance from the location of use. A typical example is provided by "solar lakes", which involve the need to transport large quantities of salt, which represents an important proportion of the total cost.

  7. The problems involving the introduction of renewable resources conversion technologies cannot be separated from their implications in a society which evolution is conditioned by the availability of energy. The interaction between territorial planning and people's habits and forms of energy consumption is naturally complex and it would be over-ambitious to make anything other than a general statement of the most obvious expression of such mutual dependence. Accordingly, the trend towards the spatial concentration of populations is obviously not favorable to the use of resources, which are characterized by dispersal, as is the case of most renewable energy sources.

Portugal through INIA (National Institute for Agricultural Research) is a subscriber of the International Undertaking for Plant Genetic Resources. In the scope of FAO, the INIA is responsible for the "in citu" and "ex citu" conservation of "germoplasm".

Financing 

No information available

Cooperation

Portugal through INIA (National Institute for Agricultural Research) is a subscriber of the International Undertaking for Plant Genetic Resources. In the scope of FAO, the INIA is responsible for the "in citu" and "ex citu" conservation of "germoplasm".

The agricultural sector is being adjusted to the European Union's agricultural policies. Portugal cooperates with UNESCO on agricultural issues.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth and eighth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: June 2000.

 

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.

Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.

Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.

To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Institute of Meteorology is responsible for protection of the atmosphere. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Portugal is implementing the environmental protection measures consistent with the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which encourages the reduction of emissions. Portugal encourages the maintenance, expansion, and protection of forests in order to create CO2 sinks, and it applies EU legislation concerning the phase out of CFCs and other ozone depleting substances.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In the energy sector, policies are being put into practice in order to: increase diversification and energy efficiency in all sectors; promote the use of clean technologies; and increase the use of renewable resources.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information available

Programmes and Projects 

Preparation of a National Climate Programme is in progress.

The Strategic Programme for the Dynamisation and Modernization of Portuguese Industry 1994-1999 (PEDIP II) provides support schemes for companies involved in environmental protection and energy management, and promotes environmental awareness and information activities. 

Combustion processes are the main sources of most greenhouse emissions, and CH4 primarily results from agriculture. 

Status 

A national inventory of anthropogenic emissions was prepared for 1990, 1993, and 1994, and energy supply mixes were reviewed.

Since 1997, natural gas has been used for the production of energy. In various industries the combined production of heat and electricity has been initiated. The efficiency of thermal power stations and electricity transmission stations has been improved. A more rational use of energy in all user sectors has been promoted, especially in Industry.

Today's industrial development model includes living and environmental standards which attempts to emulate the current worldwide development model. Industry is still dominated by traditional, labour intensive, and high energy consuming sectors. The Incentive System for the Rational Use of Energy (SIURE) provides grants to companies for energy saving activities (e.g. energy audits, investment and demonstration projects). EIA in the energy and industrial sectors has a very high priority.

The National Industrial Licensing System was established in 1993 to promote environmental protection related to industrial operations.  The Centre for Energy Conservation and the Biomass Centre for Energy have been strengthened. In the field of transboundary atmospheric pollution control, the Government provides training and participates in data and information exchange at the national and international levels. 

Challenges

Increasing demand for transportation in the 1980s focussed strongly on road transport and resulted in a considerable expansion of the number of vehicles in use, and a 67% increase in traffic. This caused an approximately 58% rate of growth in fuel consumption in the eighties. Policy measures now aim to strengthen the competitiveness of rail transport. There are only ad hoc observations of transport emissions.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Climate change issues have been integrated into curricula in higher education, and awareness campaigns and training activities designed.

Information 

Portugal has an alert network to control atmosphere radioactivity levels, and a monitoring network for air quality, which includes stations for observation of transboundary atmospheric pollution.  The capacity for information exchange is good.

Research and Technologies 

 Research capacity is average.  Strengthening of climate change research facilities are planned.

Financing 

From 1991 to 1995, Portugal contributed US$ 1.27 million to the Vienna and Montreal trust funds, and US$1.229,333 for the Protocol's Multilateral Fund.

Cooperation

Portugal ratified the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution and participates in programmes under the Convention. A Portuguese-language version of the UNFCCC has been disseminated among the Portuguese Speaking African Countries. Climate studies were carried out in Angola and Cape Verde. Portugal supports projects of the Southern African Development Conference, e.g. the development and implementation of databases and the assessment of the potential to use hydroelectricity.

The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (1985) was ratified on September 1, 1988; the Montreal Protocol (1987) was ratified on August 30, 1988; the London Amendment (1990) was ratified on November 24, 1992; and the Copenhagen Amendment (1992), signed by Portugal, is in the process of being ratified.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in 1992 and ratified on December 21, 1993.

The Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and its Protocols (CLRTAP) was signed on 14/11/79, and ratified on 29/09/80. Portugal acceded to the Protocol concerning the Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds or their Transboundary Fluxes on 10/01/89.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

Click here for national information from the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

For the Montreal Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of the Environment, especially the Nature Conservation Institute, is primarily responsible for the protection of biodiversity and genetic resources. The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries is involved in issues related to genetic resources.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Legislation on protected areas has been enacted.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Although local participation in the protection of biodiversity is very low, local communities have several times successfully opposed decisions, taken by investors and decision makers, which would have negative environmental impacts, and several protected areas were created to meet the demands of local communities. Some local NGOs have developed actions to preserve animal genetic resources.

Programmes and Projects 

National programmes covered many activities recommended in the Convention on Biodiversity before the Convention was approved. 

Status 

There is a long tradition with in situ and ex situ conservation of species and also developed actions towards ex situ conservation of vegetal generic resources for agriculture.

Portugal has a good herbarium, index seminum services, entomological collections and a germ plasma bank with exchanges throughout the world. A large number of assessments, biological and bio-ecological studies have been carried out in recent years. Strategies were developed for the conservation and protection of species. Projects also aim to reduce the use of pesticides and plant protectors. Many studies have been carried out on fauna and flora in protected areas. A number of wildlife inventories have been carried out.

The number of scientists working in the field of biodiversity increased from 20, in 1980, to 50 in 1990, and to 70 in 1994. Portugal has not needed biotechnologies to a significant extent, so far.

Portugal is implementing the study and uses of more selective fishing gears, mainly trawl and gillnets and establishing TAC and Quota and protected areas for fish spawning and juveniles

Challenges

Habitat destruction, over-harvesting, pollution, and the inappropriate introduction of foreign plants and animals all have a moderate impact on the loss of fauna. Serious damages to flora are caused by habitat destruction and inappropriate introduction of foreign plants, while impacts from over-harvesting and pollution on flora are moderate.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available 

Information 

There is a National information system on Vegetal Genetic Resources, which is supported by the European Union.

Portugal has up-dated lists of marine fish resources, phytoplankton and zooplankton, for the Portuguese EEZ.

Research and Technologies 

No information available

Financing 

No information available

Cooperation

The European Union supported national activities to improve in-situ protection of ecosystems. Portugal participates in the EU programmes LIFE, NATURA 2000 and MEDWET.

Portugal provides technical and financial support, and training for the National Park of Cufada in Guinea-Bissau, and supports projects in Cape Verde.

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1992, and ratified on December 21, 1993.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was signed in 1973, and ratified in 1980.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.

Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.

Click here to link to biosafety web sites in the European Union.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:

For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:

For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:

For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:

For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministries responsible for combatting desertification and drought are the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Planning and Territory Administration. The Forestry General Directorate established an Inter-ministerial Working Group to implement the Convention to Combat Desertification.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

 Legislation to combat desertification is being revised. Portugal has comprehensive legislation for the management and planning of catchment areas.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Non governmental organizations are involved in the anti-desertification process at the national, district, and field levels.

Programmes and Projects 

A National Committee will be appointed to prepare a National Action Programme, according to the ANNEX IV (Regional Implementation for Northern Mediterranean), to identify the factors contributing to desertification, and the practical measures necessary to combat and mitigate the effects of drought and desertification. Desertification processes and development have been assessed in several projects, partially supported by the Mediterranean Desertification and Land Use Project (MEDALUS) of the EU.

Two related projects are being carried out under the umbrella of the European Union's 1994-1999 Framework Support Programme: PAMAF (Agriculture and forest modernization support programme), and PPDR (Regional Development potential promotion operational programme).

The region Beja-Mertola, in the south of Portugal, is the targeted area for this pilot project. Long-term variability and evolution studies on precipitation levels were carried out. Soil improvement technologies are being developed, and further studies on soils are underway.

Status 

The area most vulnerable to desertification amounts to 37,500 km2, with a total population of 1,184,000. Inadequate farming and land use are the most serious causes of desertification; natural causes and grazing have only a moderate impact. In July 1994, 38 municipalities, representing approximately 13% of the country, and 0.9 % of the population were affected by drought. Water supply was irregular, and agricultural production was in danger.

Since there is no national plan to combat drought, priorities are being established in accordance with the characteristics of the hydrological year. These are defined and delimited to the lead intervention area in the Vale do Guadiana Natural Park. Otherwise they are implemented through social-economic, and conservation actions in the Natural Park (Southern Portugal).

The Joint Programme for Combatting Droughts monitors the water resource situation and issues regular reports. The Government is also addressing the following issues: drought preparedness and relief schemes, afforestation and reforestation, and alternative livelihoods for the poverty stricken population. Farmers will be offered grant schemes to develop new sources of income in order to combat desertification, and prevent subsequent abandonment of the land.

Challenges

No information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The professional staff situation for desertification issues at the central and district planning level is poor.

Information 

Portugal has 213 hydro metrical, 153 climatological, and 482 udometric monitoring stations. This coverage is considered adequate. The capacity for the assessment of soil and land degradation is rated poor, as there are only 2 data collection stations. Under the European Union CORINE Program, land use studies were carried out in 1989 and 1992, inter alia, to assess and map land resources, land quality, and soil erosion risks.

Research and Technologies 

No information available 

Financing 

In 1994, the budget of the Nature Conservation Institute of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources amounted to US$ 24,600,000. US$ 230,000 were earmarked for projects to combat desertification in Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau.

Cooperation

Portugal cooperates with Spain on desertification issues, e.g. in the Silva Mediterranean Committee. It also participates in the EU MEDALUS project. In June 1996, an "Expert Meeting on Rehabilitation of Degraded Ecosystems" was organized in Lisbon by the Governments of Portugal, Cape Verde, and Senegal, in cooperation with FAO, and the support of EU, with the participation of 124 experts from 58 countries of Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, North Africa, South Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, and International Organizations. The Lisbon Declaration was the document approved during this meeting.

Portugal supports water management projects in the Portuguese Speaking African Countries, and the National Civil Engineering Laboratory supports studies on desertification processes in Cape Verde and Mozambique. The Portuguese Institute of Tropical Scientific Research is undertaking research on desertification and drought in several countries.

Portugal signed the International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africaon October 15, 1994, and ratified it on April 1, 1996.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Combustion processes are the main sources of most greenhouse emissions, and CH4 primarily results from agriculture. Portugal is implementing the environmental protection measures consistent with the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which encourages the reduction of emissions.

In the energy sector, policies are being put into practice in order to increase diversification and energy efficiency in all sectors; promote the use of clean technologies; and increase the use of renewable resources.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information available

Programmes and Projects 

The Strategic Programme for the Dynamisation and Modernization of Portuguese Industry 1994-1999 (PEDIP II) provides support schemes for companies involved in environmental protection and energy management, and promotes environmental awareness and information activities. EIS in the energy and industrial sectors has a very high priority.

Status 

Since 1997, natural gas has been used for the production of energy. In various industries the combined production of heat and electricity has been initiated. The efficiency of thermal power stations and electricity transmission stations has been improved. A more rational use of energy in all user sectors has been promoted, especially in Industry.

Today's industrial development model includes living and environmental standards and attempts to emulate the current worldwide development model. Industry is still dominated by traditional, labour intensive, and high energy consuming sectors. 

Challenges

No information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available

Information 

No information available

Research and Technologies 

No information available

Financing 

The Incentive System for the Rational Use of Energy (SIURE) provides grants to companies for energy saving activities (e.g. energy audits, investment and demonstration projects).

Cooperation

No information available

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries is responsible for forest policy. It has one central service, the Directorate General on Forests, and seven regional units integrated in the Regional Agriculture Departments. Other ministries are also involved in forestry matters: The Ministry of Environment and Land Use, the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Employment and Solidarity. The intersectoral coordination of forest policy is therefor assured by an Inter Ministerial Commission for Forest Affairs.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries has one main central forest service, the General Directorate of Forests, and seven regional forest departments integrated in the Regional Agriculture Structure.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Major developments following UNCED include a new Forestry Policy Act (1996). In Europe the UNCED commitments to SFM were translated by the Resolutions of the Helsinki Conference, of which Portugal is a signatory state. The Forestry Policy Act includes sustainable forestry management as the most important goal, noting the commitments of the Ministerial Conferences. Portugal has also adopted the sustainable forest management criteria and indicators approved in Lisbon Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, Resolution L2.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Forestry Policy Act (1996) is the major policy instrument in place. The Plan for Sustainable Development of the Portuguese Forests (PSDPF) was developed later in accordance with the IPF agreed principles for national forest Programmes. Together and with other existing policy instruments, they constitute an integrated part of the national forest Programme.

The Land Use Act and the correspondent specific legislation define the policy of land management and urbanization as well as the land management instruments, their relationship and political state. Therefore land use management plans allocate available land to forest use.

Forest policy is linked to agricultural, industrial, environmental, land management, and regional development policies.

Forestry planning is done by Regional Plans of Forest Management "to be applied on a sub-national scale" as well as by Forest Management Plans "to be applied on a State scale". They integrate all aspects of the multiple use of forests.

Until now, demand in external markets for certified products has raised some difficulties concerning the setting of forest products within these markets. There are no clear indications that certification is promoting SFM. National forest policy development has been more effective. The private sector is involved in the Pan European Forest Certification Process in order to respond to external pressures.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

The interdependence between agriculture, industry, environment, land planning and regional development implies an increasing number of agents whose opinions are being taken into account in forest policy. Major groups are advisory participants in decision-making at the national and district levels and they are ad-hoc participants at the field level. The major groups, which contribute to the forest sector are farmers, the forest industry, their representative associations, local communities and environmental NGO’s. The dialogue with the major groups is done formally in the framework of a Forestry Advisory Council.

Programmes and Projects 

In order to prevent and combat forest fires, Portugal has established a national network of lookout towers and ground patrols. Additionally, there are special projects to improve forest infrastructure, to provide training, to develop safe silvicultural techniques, and to improve the data bank on forest fires.

Status 

Forests are of utmost importance to Portugal, as one-third of the country is covered by forests. The Portuguese Forest is composed of 44% of conifers and 58% of broad leaves. The principal objective of wood production occurs in 58% of the forest, composed essentially of conifers, Pinus pinaster and other pines cultivated for high forest. The forest reserved for the production of other non-wood products (42%) is essentially composed of oaks, chestnut trees and stone pines. 83% of all forests are private property, of which a significant part is integrated into farmland. Given their importance, a strategic shift was made in public administration of forests in recent years, in order to provide more and better services for privately owned forests. Public forests cover an area of 7,3% and are basically composed of coniferous plantations. Three percent are state-owned and consist mainly of pinus pinaster. They are predominant in the coastal region and a subject of management plans, which aim to ensure the sustainable production of quality timber. One quarter of these state forests cover coastal dunes. Their harvesting is governed by preservation guidelines and regeneration is assured by clear felling. Six percent of the forest is managed by industrial enterprises (pulping industries). Forest harvesting is dominated by small-scale enterprises. Present practices satisfy the wood industrys’ needs, but are not adequate for the valuation of forest products. An investment support system is now in progress in order to rationalize and modernize forest-harvesting practices.

Despite the strong occurrence of forest fires (an average of 50,000 hectares burn per year, but there are strong annual variation due to meteorological factors) there has been an expansion in forest area at an annual rate of 0.5% over the past 20 years, due to natural regeneration and the restructuring process of grazing and burned lands (sowing and planting), uncultivated land and marginal agriculture. Forest fires are the main cause of forest loss. The urbanization process and acidification have only a small impact on forest loss and air pollution has a light impact near industrial zones. The fragmentation of forest property, absenteeism of forest owners, and the high level of forest fires are the main obstacles to effective afforestation and reforestation.

Forestry activities provide additional income in rural areas and are an important component of rural development, although no strong relationship exists between forestry and poverty eradication.

According to the Government policy the fight against poverty requires a local approach characterized by the promotion of local employment and vocational training of less favorable people. Having in mind that the rural regions are the poorest areas, several measures were adopted to promote social-economic development in the agriculture and non-traditional activities.

In order to promote the sound use of forest products and avoid substitution by non-renewable materials, a "Wood Seminar" (1997) and a "Cork Seminar" (1998) took place in partnership with the private sector and the Forest authority.

The private sector is launching several initiatives in this regard like the 1st World Congress on Cork Oak and Cork in June 2000 to be held at Lisbon.

Challenges

No information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Reforestation, afforestation, and improvements of existing forest resources and forest productivity are being promoted and support is available for some specific activities. The existing Programmes for support of the sector are under revision. Forest conservation and protection are being promoted and efforts have been made to raise public awareness of forest issues, including restoration and rehabilitation of degraded land. Improvements have been made in the existing system for the protection against forest fires, including prevention, monitoring and fire risk systems.

There are 5 technical-professional schools, 5 polytechnic institutes and 2 universities, which provide education in the forestry sector. Sixty foresters graduate each year. The forest staff situation is below at the central level and poor at the district and field levels. In the public sector, there is a general lack of technical and research staff and of management, planning and implementation skills. There is also a great need for trained staff in the private sector.

Information 

In accordance with EU regulations for forest protection against air pollution, Portugal is carrying out annual forest assessments. Also permanent observation plots have been established. The impact on forests of pests and diseases is being assessed and monitored, and biological and chemical methods of control have been tested.

The Direction General of Forests has a web page – http://www.dgf.min-agricultura.pt - where the general public can have access to information about major issues and statistic data on forests. Remote sensing is available for the assessment of forest fires and a GIS for the forest sector is being implemented.

Forest inventories are periodical - on a ten-year basis - and the last was carried out in 1995. These inventories cover the whole country and indicate the areas occupied by the main species. They assess the growing stock, increments and age classes for the main timber producing species.

Portugal is participating in the Pan European Process of the Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe and is a signatory state of the Resolution L2 "Pan –European criteria, indicators and operational level guidelines for sustainable forest management" of the Lisbon Conference. Therefor it is deeply engaged in the use of these C&I.

The national report to the Lisbon Conference provides information according to the agreed C&I, which is being used for policy, development and monitoring, namely on the Plan for Sustainable Development of the Portuguese Forests. The adaptation and test of operational level guidelines is under development.

Research and Technologies 

A National Biomass Centre was established, which develops technologies for the utilization of forest biomass, especially for the use of wastes from forests harvesting and industrial processing.

Financing 

No information available

Cooperation

IPF process: Portugal participated actively in the IPF/IFF process, in which it cooperated with Cap Verde and the Senegal Expert Meeting on Rehabilitation of Forest Degraded Ecosystems (Lisbon, 1996) as well as with Chile, Denmark, India and New Zealand and the "International Experts Meeting on the Role of Planted Forests in Sustainable Forest Management" (Chile, April 1999).

Although an exhaustive assessment of IPF proposals was not carried out, a "check list" was conducted and its results strongly influenced the most recent developments in national forest policy. The establishment of a Plan for Sustainable Development of the Portuguese Forests (PSDPF) was considered as the lacking tool for the national forest Programme. Participation of major groups has improved according to IPF orientation and the cross-sectoral nature of forests was emphasizing in this new plan.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to eighth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: June 2000.

 

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

New institutional structures at national and regional levels were created for the management of water resources.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

New legislation regarding water resources has been enacted, and existing legislation reviewed.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Portugal is developing a strategy for the integrated management of coastal areas and water resources. This strategy includes an inventory of water use and sources of water pollution. A waste water discharge licensing system has been established. The Water Resources Planning Process has been started; the River Basin Plans and the National Water Resources Plan will be finished in the next two and three years respectively.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information available

Programmes and Projects 

Water resources have been classified, and a Joint Programme to Combat Droughts was implemented in 1992/93. A model for forecasting droughts is being developed. Floods have been analyzed and assessed, especially in the basin of the river Tagus. Radar is used for forecasting floods. Environmental impact studies are being carried out. Small-scale hydro projects are being analyzed

Status 

Trophic conditions of lakes and reservoirs in Alentejo and Algarve were assessed by using the Landsat TM digital imaging process. A management support system was established for the utilization of water resources in the Sado Valley. Quality assessments were carried out at the Bravura and Beliche reservoirs. At the river Guadiana basin, water resources were assessed, and a study was carried out on water erosion and sedimentation processes. In a number of river basins, hydro-development work was carried out. Irrigation perimeters were adjusted.

An evaluation of water quality was undertaken, including an assessment of contaminated surface and underground water. An underground water monitoring system was established.

Challenges

No information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available

Information 

A National Water Resources Information System has been created. Networks have been studied and improved, including the pluviometric, climatological, hydrometric, and piezometric network, the network for monitoring lakes and reservoirs, and the network for monitoring the quality of underground water.

Research and Technologies 

No information available

Financing 

The budgets for river basin plans amount to US$ 1,300,000 at the river Tejo, to US$ 500,000 at the Mondego basin, and to US$ 500,000 for the Cavado basin (each within 5 years).

Cooperation

Portugal cooperates with Spain on water resources management, and is involved in World Hydrological Programme activities.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

Click here to visit the Web Site of the Ramsar Convention.

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In Portugal, the responsibilities for spatial planning reside with the national government, although certain responsibilities are delegated to decentralized government departments at a regional level (RCC’s regional co-ordination commissions - non-elected bodies with important spatial planning functions) and local government (municipalities-elected bodies) with decision making powers and responsibilities in determining local development. 

The following ministries are responsible for the planning and management of land resources: the Ministry of Equipment, Planning and Territory Administration, the Ministry of Agriculture , Rural Development and Fisheries, Ministry of Economics and the Ministry of the Environment . In 1994, the Ministry of Equipment, Planning and Territory Administration established a General Directorate for Land Planning and Urban Development (Projecto Lei Bases OT/1997).

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Portugal has a Law on Spatial Planning and Urban Policy since 1998. This law is a framework defining and integrating actions from public administration, in order to ensure an adequate structure and use of the space. It is ordained to achieve integrated sustainable development in an economic, social, cultural and environmental way through different regions and urban centres. The spatial planning concerns three different levels: national, regional and local.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

According to the Portuguese planning system the plans at local level must be consistent with the strategies defined in plans prepared at central level of the administration. The Master Plan, when confirmed by the central government, gives the municipality the right to approve Development and Detailed Land Use Plans. Furthermore it is a condition of access to specific central government funding. Namely at local level the tools for full integration of the planning system are much more developed concerning the discussion of local decisions according to the other levels of planning.

As a member of the EU, Portugals' policies are defined accordingly to the 1993 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), particularly concerning the agro-environmental measures and the CAP complementary measures such as afforestation measures, end of farming activities and compensatory reimbursement in unfavorable areas.

At national level:

At regional level

At local level

The plan that controls the expansion of the human settlements is the Land Use Plan, nowadays in a reviewing process, trying to manage the urban sprawl. Simultaneously the Spatial Land Use Plans preserved special areas and natural resources with a zoning of different levels of human use from the impacts of the human settlement invasion. Land Use Plans must take into account the land use restrictions related to biological diversity in protected areas and sites designated on the directive "habitats" and also in the natural resources protection law (National Ecological Reserve).

The Special Land Use Plans define special rules for special values namely environmental ones. Those rules overcome those defined by the Land Use Plans, in order to achieve the sustainable use of space, particularly on areas with specific characteristics like protected areas.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

The National Employment Plans, adopted since 1997, have defined an integrated employment strategy characterized by the adoption of active employment measures aimed not only at creating jobs but at increasing Portuguese workers’ professional qualifications as well as encouraging socio-economic development at local level. In order to improve local and regional development, the Regional Employment Plans were created to add a number of specific objectives and measures adapted to the regional contexts of the different regions, to the four pillars of the National Employment Plan and complete the cover provided by regional Employment Networks. In addition, the States' performance in this field implies joint actions with the community in partnership with the social partners and regional and local bodies and organizations of civil society involved in social and economic development at the regional level.

With the revision of the Framework-Law of the Protected Areas in 1993, local authorities began to participate on the protected area management commission.

Equal opportunities for men and women is a fundamental principle that is horizontally applied in the world of employment, vocational training and support for the creation of companies as expressed in the National Employment Plan. Therefore a Global Plan for Equal Opportunities (Resolution n49/97 of 6 march) was adopted, thus fulfilling one of the commitments of the Beijing Action Platform, which covers many of the areas listed as to deserve special attention. In this area specific measures aimed at promoting equal opportunities have been adopted, namely financial and technical programmes supporting women’s entrepreneurial initiatives by articulation between central administration, local authorities and non-governmental organizations.

Programmes and Projects 

Integrated planning and management of land resources on protected areas has a specific approach, specially concerning the maintaining of rural population and activities, which are the principal managers of these areas. National Programme on nature tourism in protected areas is one of the initiatives to sustain young people and promote social and economic development in these areas.

Status 

Since 1992, 300 ha of public forestland have been transformed into other uses such as industry, social infrastructures, roads, urban expansion, natural gas pipeline and waste treatment equipment. Nevertheless there has been an expansion in forest area at an annual rate of 0.5% over the past 20 years due to natural regeneration and the restructuring process of grazing and burned lands, sowing and planting uncultivated land and marginal agriculture. Main pressures occur in coastal areas for tourism and urban expansion.

One of the Portuguese priorities is to pursue a rural development policy that is aimed at the improvement of the quality of rural life especially in the disadvantaged areas. For this purpose the participation of rural communities is required as well as the creation of basic substructures and investments on modernization of farming systems. The viability of rural areas is also enhanced by the diversification of farmers' activities such as the employment generation for youth and rural tourism. Furthermore these measures lead to the reduction of migration movements that have affected the rural areas in the last few decades. At least agro-environmental measures have been introduced in order to minimize the adverse impacts of pest uses on intensive farming systems in richest areas, thus helping to maintain the extensive farming systems that are predominant in Portugal.

Challenges

No Information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The general approach of Portugal is to move towards extensification and sustainability on the use of land through implementation of different programmes, which not only emphasize the multifunctional character of agriculture, but also encourage the establishment of young new farmers through special aid programmes associated with land use incentivation of the elder farmers to abandon agricultural activity.

Information 

Regularly Portugal uses different types and methods of land inventories such as satellite image and aerial photograph surveys for monitoring land uses changes and soil, as well as other natural research methods compiling climatic information. Different data concerning human settlements and its dynamics is also available. The timing for all those inventories changes according to the subjects. Different agencies are responsible for updating the data and its diffusion at different levels.

The National Geographical Information System (SNIG), created in 1990, consists of a distributed network based on the Internet, which connects geo-referenced data produced by competent agencies at local, regional and central level. Its' main objective is to promote and guarantee the permanent availability of data that is needed for planning and management activities, particularly for Land Use Planning. The development and implementation of SNIG is coordinated by the National Centre for Geographical Information (CNIG). SNIG provides the access to both graphical (topographic and thematic digital maps, satellite imagery or digital aerial photographs) and alphanumerical information. The data producers determine the access conditions of the information available in the network and are responsible for its quality and updating.

Concerning the local level, the information can be disseminated through all the national territory for the needs of the sustainable management of land resources. Our country profits from special funding support to establish and improve the Geographical Information System (GIS) at the local level.

From a general point of view we can consider that there is a sufficient access to information in Portugal and this is an upgrading process.

Information on land use and land resources about Portugal is namely available on:

National Centre for Geographical Information (CNIG): http://www.cnig.pt

The General Directorate of Environment is developing a programme on sustainable development indicators that include indicators on integrated land management and sustainable use of land resources: http://www.dga.min-amb.pt.

Information on protected areas and nature conservation: http://www.icn.pt.

Institute of Meteorology, which is responsible for fulfilling commitments in the Meteorological and Climatology domains and has been responsible for the continued maintenance of 30 synoptical stations and 70 climatological stations, 700 udometric units and 3 aerological stations.

Research and Technologies 

No Information available

Financing 

No Information available

Cooperation

Portugal cooperates inter alia, with the Spanish organization CEDEX, and the EU Programme for Agricultural Development. The EU participated in reviewing national strategies and provided additional post Rio funding. Portugal cooperates with NATO in the areas of watershed development and dam safety.

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth and eighth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: June 2000.

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MOUNTAINS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The following entities are primarily responsible for sustainable mountain development: the Rural Development General Directorate, the General Directorate of Agriculture, and the Institute of Nature Conservation. Legislation in this field is being revised. Emphasis is given to fresh water management in mountain protected areas through agreements with utilizer entities.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No Information available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No Information available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No Information available

Programmes and Projects 

The Programme for Regional Development Promotion emphasizes integrated development action in small spaces.

Status 

Mountain areas cover approximately one-third of the country. Programmes for the promotion of rural areas in general also address mountain areas. Specific activities are being carried out to develop protected areas in mountain regions: the National Park of Peneda Gerês, and the Nature Parks of Montesinho, Alvão and Serra da Estrela. These are areas with traditional landscapes and extensive farming systems. However, extensive farming provides only poor income and land abandonment is an increasing problem. The government offers grant schemes to encourage farmers to continue farming and, at the same time, develop new income sources. Farmers have to continue extensive practices for at least five years, and then they take over responsibilities in the preservation and conservation of natural habitats and traditional rural constructions. These measures also contribute to combat desertification processes. Several wildlife inventories were carried out in protected mountain areas in recent years. There is one area among the protected areas where erosion damages are significant

Improvement has been made in the prevention, monitoring, detection, and fire fighting systems.

Promotion of sustainable employment is based on rational resource use and model actions, with the participation of local agents.

The most important rivers in mountain areas include the Mondego, with a catchment area of 6,644 km2, the Cavado, with a catchment area of 1,589 km2, and the Zêvere. Watershed development projects are being carried out in the areas of the rivers Mondego, Cavado, and Tejo.

Support is given to Cattle Orientation, apiculture, promotion of indigenous species, and certification of local products, within environmental measures.

Although there are 86 meteorological and air quality monitoring stations, and over 200 udometric stations, this is considered insufficient for Portugal's needs.

Challenges

No Information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No Information available

Information 

No Information available

Research and Technologies 

No Information available

Financing 

The budgets for river basin plans amount to US$ 1,300,000 at the river Tejo, to US$ 500,000 at the Mondego basin, and to US$ 500,000 for the Cavado basin (each within 5 years).

In 1994, the budget of the Institute for Nature Conservation amounted to US$ 40,384,615.

In 1996, the compensations reached about 62 million US$, and the Agro-Environmental Measures reached about 77 million US$.

Cooperation

Portugal participates in the EU programmes LEADER and INTERREG. The EU participated in reviewing national strategies

.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

There is no central institution for activities for this issue. The Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries address certain issues and, in some cases, the port authorities are in charge.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Legislation has been enhanced to address some of the relevant issues, and a law being prepared to implement the FAO Code of Conduct on Responsible Fishing.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The preparation of a national policy on oceans is planned and foreseen in the National Environmental Plan. Portugal has coastal area management programmes that encompass fishery activities in the EEZ. In 1993, the Clean Sea Plan (Plano Mar Limpo) was adopted to react to discharges of harmful substances. It also includes the preparation of emergency plans.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No Information available

Programmes and Projects 

No Information available

Status 

Portugal considers that ocean issues touch upon almost all sustainable development concerns, and require particularly effective coordinated action at the national, regional, and international levels. There is an urgent need for an integrated approach to the implementation and monitoring of existing legal instruments and other international agreements, and to promoting integrated coastal zone management following the International Year of the Oceans in 1998.

Due to the over-exploitation of marine resources, fish catches decreased in the past years. Measures are foreseen for the protection and conservation of marine species. Portugal participates in the development of socio-economic indicators related to the management of marine resources, in systematic observation systems, in the mussel watch programme, and in the Global Ocean Observing System.

Portugal develops monitoring programmes in coastal zones, mainly related to: harmful algal blooms, marine biotoxins ( DSP, PSP), microbiologic contamination of shellfish, and mercury contamination of fish resources of the Portuguese EEZ. Research projects in coastal and marine areas are primarily related to: fish stocks assessment and distribution; phytoplankton dynamic and coastal eutrophication; sediments contamination and deposition of dredged sediments; environmental impact of estuaries in adjacent coastal zones; and macro algae stocks evaluation and distribution.

As regards environmental preservation of harbour areas, there are already Emergency Plans at the Principle Ports, which also have reception of board wastes. In addition, main ports have stations of treatment for weight waters. The Emergency Plans of Secondary Ports are now being elaborated, and they also have reception of waste products.

Challenges

No Information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No Information available

Information 

There are two databases available for integrated coastal management: the National Information System on Water Resources and the National Database on Fishery. Both are considered adequate, but improvements are necessary to meet future needs. Portugal provides capacity building and training measures to address this chapter.

Research and Technologies 

No Information available

Financing 

No Information available

Cooperation

Portugal participates in programmes promoted by ICES, IOC, OSPAR and the EU.

Portugal signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on December 10, 1982, and is in the process of ratifying it..

 

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No Information available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In 1987, legislation was enacted for the notification of new chemical substances and the classification, packaging, and labelling of dangerous substances. Legislation was also enacted to restrict or prohibit the marketing and use of certain substances, e.g. asbestos, CFCs, lead composites, mercury and arsine, and to limit the marketing and use of PCBs and PCTs, and to create the conditions for their phase out.

Policies of the European Union were adopted for risk assessment of new and existing substances. In accordance with EU regulations, the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedures were implemented.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No Information available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No Information available

Programmes and Projects 

No Information available

Status 

Portugal has carried out a survey to classify and study the quantities of chemical products, and it has quantified the number of PCBs in the country. It has also analysed the production, import, export, and consumption of chemical products, and plans to apply a life cycle analysis to chemical substances. Further risk evaluation is to be undertaken.

Challenges

No Information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No Information available

Information 

No Information available

Research and Technologies 

No Information available

Financing 

No Information available

Cooperation

No Information available

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The municipal councils are responsible for the management of solid urban waste. The central government provides support, e.g. by making available the means to quantify and assess waste.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations  -

No Information available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A National Waste Plan is now being implemented, and its essential goal is to shut all the garbage dumps by the year 2000. A licensing system for waste water discharges was established.

The Regional Development Plan aims to improve public services, such as the collection and treatment of urban waste by the year 2000.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No Information available

Programmes and Projects 

Projects to reduce and recycle waste have been encouraged in both public and private sectors. Separate collection of glass and paper is being undertaken by many municipalities, and pilot projects are underway to collect other materials, such as plastic, and certain types of batteries. A national programme aimed at recycling packaging from liquid foodstuffs is underway. Voluntary agreements were signed with the glass-packing sector, and with the plastic and complex-material-packaging sector.

With the support of Portuguese and other European associations, three pilot projects are being implemented in order to increase the recycling of waste materials in the Queijas region, in Oeiras, in Greater Oporto, and in Greater Lisbon. Various methods of collection are being tested, including door-to-door collection, the establishment of collection centres, and the installation of multi-containers on public roads and in public areas, preferably near schools to raise awareness.

Status 

Portugal has carried out activities to raise the awareness of its municipalities for the need to improve the design and construction of landfills, and technical standards for the construction and operation of landfills have been published and distributed.

Challenges

No Information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No Information available

Information 

No Information available

Research and Technologies 

No Information available

Financing 

No Information available

Cooperation

No Information available

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

 

Hazardous Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Economics and the Ministry of Environment are responsible for hazardous waste-related activities.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations  -

Legislation and a notification system to control transboundary movements of hazardous waste, was enacted in 1990. The control of transboundary movements of dangerous waste was strengthened. Portugal has also enacted legislation and regulations on storage, collection, and burning of used oil.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No Information available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No Information available

Programmes and Projects 

No Information available

Status 

The manufacturing industry, in particular the chemical industry, produces the largest amount of dangerous industrial waste. In 1987, 1,050,000 tones of industrial waste were produced. The Government still sees a need to improve waste management capacities, but initial activities have been initiated and carried out.

In order to provide guidelines for an inventory of contaminated sites, a pilot study is underway to assess soil and underground water contamination in a densely industrialized zone (Estarreja). With the support of the EU ENVIREG programme, incineration plants are being constructed in Lisbon and Oporto for the incineration of hospital waste.

Activities were initiated to promote the use of used tires for heating in cement production and to use used oil as fuel. About 25% of used oil (30,000 tones) is processed in this way. The construction of a used oil recycling plant with a treatment capacity of 20,000 tones was approved.

Challenges

No Information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No Information available

Information 

No Information available

Research and Technologies 

Industry has been encouraged to use less polluting and waste producing technologies, and to process waste properly. Technologies are being implemented to treat effluent from tanning and surface treatment. A decision was made to provide adequate infrastructure for the general treatment of industrial waste. A call for tenders was published to build and operate an industrial waste management system. This system will include an incineration and treatment unit, and two land fills, one serving the north, and the other the south of Portugal, and a transfer station. The system will only treat waste produced in Portugal.

Financing 

Investment totalling 2.670.000 US$ dollars was approved for a used oil recycling plant.

Cooperation

Programmes are carried out with the support of the EU, and in accordance with EU policies.

Portugal signed the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal in 1989, and ratified it on January 26, 1994.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

Radioactive Wastes

No information is available.


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